How small organisations develop sustainability-oriented strategies: evidence from northwest Himalayas

Aparna Gonibeed*, Sally Kah, Roseline Wanjiru

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: Using Gibson and Tarrant's (2010) resilience triangle model, this study explores how small northwest Himalayan organisations respond to contextual challenges and opportunities and embed sustainability strategies in the organisations' operational values. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative exploratory design through individual and group interviews with owner-managers and employees was held in five small northwest Himalayan organisations. Findings: The findings reveal multiple contextual challenges facing small organisations in northwest Himalayas, including ecological conditions, remoteness, underdeveloped infrastructure and human competencies. The investigated organisations respond to these challenges through reactive and innovation-based services like eco-tourism, conservation and educational initiatives. The organisations engage communities through participatory and educational activities. Owner-managers adjust the respective vision and mission statements, train employees on sustainability values and lobby the government on policy changes to embed sustainability strategies. Some organisations invest in resources and capabilities and others in process capabilities. Practical implications: Small organisations can improve how the organisations predict contextual issues by developing the organisations' process capabilities, specifically by creating practical tools with parameters relevant to ecological conditions. These organisations can set the tools through participatory actions with the broader communities to ensure the (un)intended consequences of environmental issues are considered. Furthermore, improvements in process and human capabilities will provide new approaches to raising business opportunities, especially in post-pandemic business environments. Originality/value: This study develops a framework that enhances the understanding of how process capabilities, leadership, people and knowledge capabilities are critical to developing and embedding sustainability strategies in small organisations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1289
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Issue number6
Early online date17 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2023

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